Welcome Guest Log In
 

Card Counting Systems

How do Card Counting Strategies Work?

The point of all card counting systems is to keep a ratio of small cards relative to high cards. But there are different count strategies, with varying degrees of difficulty and effectiveness. By keeping a ratio of small cards to high cards, it gives the player a better indication of when you have the advantage over the casino by betting more. Count systems also determine when you should deviate from basic strategy.

There’s a video of Why We Teach Hi-Lo below, but here is a comparison of the top card counting systems.

Card Counting Systems

Count Strategy
..2.. ..3.. ..4.. ..5.. ..6.. ..7.. ..8.. ..9.. ..T.. Ace .BC. .PE. .IC. Bal?

Hi-Lo

1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 -1 -1 .97 .51 .76 Yes

K-O

1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 -1 -1 .98 .55 .78 No

Hi-Opt I

0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 -1 0 .88 .61 .85 Yes

Hi-Opt II

1 1 2 2 1 1 0 0 -2 0 .91 .67 .91 Yes

Halves

.5 1 1 1.5 1 .5 0 -.5 -1 -1 .99 .56 .72 Yes

Omega II

1 1 2 2 2 1 0 -1 -2 0 .92 .67 .85 Yes

Zen

1 1 2 2 2 1 0 0 -2 -1 .96 .63 .85 Yes

 

Definitions:

Betting Correlation (BC): How effective each card counting system is at predicting valuable betting situations. The higher, the better.
Playing Efficiency (PE): How effective each strategy is at determining playing decisions (i.e. Deviations). The higher, the better.
Insurance Correlation (IC): How effective the card counting strategy is at predicting when to buy insurance. Obviously, strategies that have a separate Ace side count are going to be better at determining when to buy insurance. But in our opinion, a side count strategy is not worth the effort. Put more time into playing more efficiently and acting less like a card counter.

Balanced (bal?): A balanced count begins and ends at zero. The alternative would be an unbalanced count (such as K-O), which has an imbalanced ratio of “low cards” to “high cards.” With an imbalanced count, you typically do not start at 0, but start at an “initial running count”, thus not needing to convert from a running count to a true count.

Why We Use the Hi-Lo Card Counting System:

Many people ask why we use Hi-Lo. Here’s a short video we made to explain. Feel free to disagree with us. (=

Further Reading:

Card Counting Systems

 

- If you really want to get into the nitty gritty, we recommend The Theory of Blackjack by Peter A. Griffin.